Ready? Open your basket. You take out a fish you’ve never cooked before, a breakfast food, a curry paste, and a couple of small turnips. You have 30 minutes to cook dinner. Begin…
Since I’m hooked on the cooking show Chopped, I decided to try a Chopped-style challenge at home. (See the bottom of this post for information on how you get in on the action.)
My husband picked up four mystery ingredients and kept them secret from me, and I had to feature them in a meal that I cooked in 30 minutes.
I gave him these guidelines on what four ingredients to pick up:
- meat/seafood or other protein
- vegetable or fruit
- candy bar/candy or unique sauce or unique condiment (something unusual in other words)
I could also use ingredients from my pantry and fridge, but I had to feature the basket ingredients.
I served breaded catfish with Thai curry sauce over mashed turnips.
How’d I do?
I did pretty well. The catfish tasted delicious, and I used the required ingredients. My kids gobbled it up with more enthusiasm than they show for most of my carefully planned meals. On the other hand, I finished early, and I wasn’t creative. In the TV show, they look for creative transformation of the ingredients. I also found it difficult to start cooking right away under time pressure.
Do you like to cook? Compete with me!
This was so much fun, and I’d like to add a competitive element. My husband picked out four new mystery ingredients, and you could try it yourself. Email me at email@example.com, and I will email you a link to the new mystery ingredients. You will need an assistant to shop for you and keep the ingredients secret. Then, shoot your video and post it to YouTube (or wherever). Share your link back with me, and we’ll have people vote on the winner based on presentation, taste, and creativity.
I think it would be especially fun to see what people who live in different parts of the world do with the new mystery ingredients. (I am in the Northeastern U.S.) I’ll let you know about deadlines once I see how many people are interested.
Please spread the word to anyone who would like to compete in a home cooking challenge.
P.S. I am just a fan, and I am not affiliated with Chopped or the Food Network.